With the vast crowds descending on Sydney and New York each New Year's Eve, avoid the stress and crammed city streets and escape to one of these lesser-known destinations.
From incredible fireworks displays and live music to magical sunrises and sandy beaches, this countdown of locations is sure to help you bring in the new year with a bang.
1. Reykjavik, Iceland
New Year's Eve in Iceland sees the whole country go wild as an epic fireworks display takes place half an hour before midnight. Oskjuhlid Hill can be found right the center of Reykjavík and is the perfect spot to sit and watch the whole night's sky light up over the entire city. After the celebrations are over, there's nothing better than enjoying the spectacular Northern Lights on the first day of the new year from this stunning glass cabin.
2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The perfect place to relax and reflect on the past year, Grand Canyon National Park is the ideal spot to swap those crowded New Year's Eve streets for jaw-dropping views and unbeatable hiking trails. The majestic sights from the South Rim are sure to put the year in perspective making this the go-to getaway for those looking for a peaceful and uplifting new year.
3. Homigot Sunrise Festival in South Korea
Homigot Village, located on the easternmost point of the Korean Peninsula, plays host to the one-of-a-kind Sunrise Festival every New Year's Eve. Visitors get to see the sun make it's first new appearance, rising majestically over the fascinating hand sculpture that bursts through the calm ocean. With the festival also holding traditional Korean performances, a fireworks show, and local food, New Year's Eve here will seem like a strange but beautiful dream.
4. Madeira, Portugal
The picturesque island of Madeira offers a New Year's Eve of top-class wine, fine seafood, and, of course, an amazing fireworks show over Funchal Bay. During the day, spend time exploring this charming island, and when night falls, take in the special atmosphere with the locals in the quaint side cafés. When day breaks for the first time in 2019, waking up to to the sight of the serene ocean from your own secluded beach hut will be a moment that stays with you for a lifetime.
5. Niagara Falls, Canada
If it's live music, dancing, and dazzling pyrotechnics you're looking for as the year draws to a close, Niagara Falls is the place to be this New Year's Eve. The festivities begin at 8 p.m. in Queen Victoria Park with plenty of traditional food and drinks on offer from the friendly locals, and the night culminates with some magnificent fireworks launched from Niagara Gorge!
6. Honolulu, Hawaii
Welcome in the new year with a warm aloha by spending the last day of the year surrounded by the volcanic slopes and rugged coast of Honolulu in Hawaii. As the bells end, watch the multicolored rockets burst over Waikiki Beach, and after, head on down to one of the tiki bars for some live music, elaborated cocktails, and late-night hula dancing!
7. Florianopolis, Brazil
Although Rio is seen as the number one spot to celebrate New Year's Eve in Brazil, Florianopolis, or Floripa as the locals call it, is Brazil's biggest secret—and the party destination for some of Brazil's best soccer stars. With more than 42 sandy beaches, hidden coves, and pristine lakes, there is something for everyone here. Take a seat lakeside with a cold caipirinha and enjoy the New Year's Eve fireworks display in style.
8. Zion National Park, Utah
Why not ring in the new year surrounded by the soaring landscape and iconic red rock canyons of Zion National Park this year? Make the last day of the year one to remember by hiking up to the epic Angel's Landing for 360-degree views of the sprawling 147,000-acre park, all before cozying up with loved ones, glass of champagne in hand.